Category Archives: Accounting Basics

New Year Dictionary of Governmental Budget and Accounting Terms

Has your EOY caused your prior-year encumbrances and expenditures to deplete your reserves, or were you in the black because those expenditures were WRTFY?

If all this budget and accounting talk has your head spinning, we’re going to lighten it up with some Happy New Year Vocabulary, courtesy of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations.

So if you don’t know your program budget from your appropriations, give them a quick once-over with a New Year Review of Governmental Budget and Accounting Terms.

NEW YEAR DICTIONARY OF ACCOUNTING & BUDGET TERMS

H – Hourly (or Non-Exempt)
An employee who fills a temporary or short-term position. Read more >

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Onsite Data Storage Can Mean Big Risks

Natural Disasters. Hackers. Malfunctions. Disgruntled Employees.

These are just a few of the things that could lead to a data disaster and put your agency at risk of being unable to recover sensitive and necessary information.

Our data can feel safe, locked away and backed up on a server. But there are still plenty of risks that can be avoided by moving data to the Cloud. That’s because with the Cloud, there is no one single place the data is stored, making it less vulnerable to the following risks.

Risk Factors to Data

Natural Disasters

In the event of a natural disaster, any data stored on a stand-alone computer or server is vulnerable to loss. Read more >

Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Onsite Data Storage Can Mean Big Risks

Is It Time to Upgrade Your Technology?

Technology-Art
When determining technology needs and upgrades, many important questions should be considered: Is this the right time to consider a change? How will this affect the agency’s daily workload? When should we do it? Is this right for our organization?

Changing software or technology can be a big deal. Despite what some vendors might say, it’s a significant change that requires a well-thought out plan and good decision-making that will lead to a beneficial long-term solution.

Five Key Questions to Ask Before Upgrading Your Agency’s Technology

  • How Much Will It Cost and Do We Have the Funds to Support an Upgrade?
  • Read more >
    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Is It Time to Upgrade Your Technology?

    How Schools Are Stretching Their Technology Dollars

    Budget Button

    Schools are used to doing more with less, and they never cease to amaze us. When you walk into a classroom filled with laptops, tablets and smart boards, it may seem impossible that schools are saving any money on technology at all. But, that’s where you’re wrong.

    Innovative schools, especially charter schools that are able to tap into unconventional sources for funding, are finding ways to upgrade their technology while cutting their technology budgets.

    The ability to use more technology in the classroom without dramatically increasing their technology budget is a win-win: teachers are able to tap into new sources for instruction and students are learning more with technology-driven lesson plans and instruction. Read more >

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    Tax Forms and More for Happier Clients

    Signed, Sealed, Delivered—Easier, More Convenient and Faster.

    F2014-10-03O-Naorms, forms everywhere! There’s 1099’s, W2’s, 1095’s, and utility bills to boot! And now, you can get them all and much more from one reliable, trusted supplier.

    Our most recent and successful business partnership is with Rocky Mountain Print Solutions (RMPS). They produce and deliver BMS-formatted forms that integrate perfectly with Black Mountain Software to ensure your form printing is accurate and improves your mailing success.

    And, do you make yet another supplier call for printer ink? Now you don’t have to. If your printer ink is running dry from printing all those required forms, consider consolidating your form and printer supply needs with RMPS. Read more >

    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Partners, BMS Products, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Tax Forms and More for Happier Clients

    8 Things Every City Clerk Should Understand and Know About in 2016


    T2014-10-03O-Nahe job of being a City Clerk requires wearing many hats: software user, recorder, reporter, coworker, conference-goer, accountant, social media expert, customer service provider, budgeter…there is no end to the many roles and tasks completed by city clerks on the daily. In honor of a new year that promotes continued learning and self-improvement, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe are the eight things every city clerk should know and understand for 2016.

    What the Cloud is?
    With so many agencies going to “The Cloud,” it is important to know exactly what this dreamy concept is and how it affects data computing and storage. Read more >

    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Products, Cloud Computing, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 8 Things Every City Clerk Should Understand and Know About in 2016

    EOY Financial Statements

    Common Mistakes on EOY Financial Statements

    A2014-10-03O-Nas if the beginning of the new year—with all its accruals, deferred assets, and budget comparisons—wasn’t a big enough bugger, those in charge of end-of- year financial statements have one more obstacle in their year-end reporting: examining the financial reports for accuracy.

    Thoroughly reviewing end-of-year reports to ensure accuracy and accountability is vital. With so many items and numbers to look at, that can be an overwhelming task, so we’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes found on financial statements.

    Common Mistakes on End-of-Year Financial Statements and Reports

    Overlooking Expense Line Items. Read more >

    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Products, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, School Software, Technology, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on EOY Financial Statements

    Survival Guide for Local Government Budget Season

    Feel free to use this image, just link to www.SeniorLiving.Org  This microstock required lots of post processing to get the blue tint. I also needed a bounce card to  get more detail in the glasses.

    We said the “B” word: Budgets. They can be…well, a bugger. Long, complicated, and requiring a lot of analysis. A few “B” words came to our mind when thinking of budget: “boring,” “baffling,” and “bothersome.” But that’s ok, because we’ve pulled together a list of local government best budget practices that are the exact opposite–short and sweet–to assist with your budgeting success.

     

    A Clerk’s Survival Guide to Government Budget Planning

    Determine What Elements to Include In Your Annual Budget.

    Planning the annual budget is a long process, with many daunting tasks and thoughtful considerations. Some budgets are fairly straight forward, while others are specific and complex documents. Read more >

    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, Government Accounting Standards, Small Cities | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Survival Guide for Local Government Budget Season

    New IRS Resource helps Employers Understand the Health Care Law

    by: The United States Internal Revenue Service

    The following article can be posted on your websites and used in other communication vehicles to help employers get the facts about the new IRS web page for applicable large employers.

    The new ACA Information Center for Applicable Large Employers page on IRS.gov features information and resources for employers of all sizes on how the health care law may affect them if they fit the definition of an applicable large employer.

    The web page includes the following sections:

    • What’s Trending for ALEs,
    • How to Determine if You are an ALE,
    • Resources for Applicable Large Employers, and
    • Outreach Materials.
    Read more >
    Posted in Accounting Basics, BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on New IRS Resource helps Employers Understand the Health Care Law

    Where Does the Buck Stop…With An Overdue Utility Bill?

    Property owners often wonder…is it possible for a homeowner to lose his house over a $300 unpaid water bill? Especially in small towns, where we are reticent to even send a disconnect notice to a neighbor let alone act on it, something like this is rare. But it is not unheard of.

    In nearly every state, the property owner or landlord is responsible for paying the property’s utility bill unless, in some cases, the lease to the property specifies otherwise. For example, in order to impose a lien against Georgia real estate for an overdue water bill, the owner of the property must be the person who incurred the charges. Read more >

    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Where Does the Buck Stop…With An Overdue Utility Bill?

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